Problem gambling is a rising issue around the world, not just in New Zealand. The good news for New Zealanders though is that there’s currently a fantastic framework in place and numerous social programs that are designed to tackle the growing issue of problem gambling throughout the country.
It’s not just the people with little or no will power that can develop gambling problems, even the strongest-minded individuals who think that they are immune to problem gambling can be affected. Therefore, it’s of the utmost importance that you first identify problem gambling and try to take control before it becomes something that can no longer be controlled.
Quick Facts Surrounding Gambling in New Zealand:
- Data has been collected, and numbers have been crunched by Stats New Zealand, and it has been found that the largest industry in New Zealand is, in fact, the gambling industry. In comparison, the industry is roughly the same size as professional sports, recorded music, TV and movies combined!
- Worryingly, at least one in five pathological gamblers will at some point try and take their own life
- A staggering 80% of people who live in New Zealand have taken part in some form of online or offline gambling activity over the past twelve months
- You are three times more likely to develop a gambling problem if you are a younger citizen (compared to older citizens)
- According to records, more than 65% of young New Zealanders have taken part one in at least one form of gambling activity
Gambling may become a problem when it:
- Causes a rift between you and a family member or close friend
- Ruins your reputation with others
- Has a detrimental effect on your personal finances
- Causes damage to your physical or mental health
- Hampers work, school or any other activities that you’re currently involved with
The risk factor for developing a gambling problem may vary, but some common themes could be indicators of developing a problem gambling habit these include the following:
- You had a big win when you originally started gambling
- You are currently experiencing financial difficulties and don’t see a way of resolving this
- Some significant event occurred in your life, such as the loss of a loved one, loss of employment, or relationship problems
- To cope with physical pain or mental health issues, you use gambling as an escape mechanism
- You are a solitary, possibly lonely person, and use gambling as a way of connecting with others
- There isn’t much happening in your personal life, and you gamble to fill the void due to lack of hobbies and other interests
- You have an alcohol problem, or perhaps abuse other substances and gamble to combat bad feelings or other things that have happened to you
- You use gambling to suppress feelings of anxiety or depression
- You feel as though have the edge over a certain game or online casino and think you have developed a system to beat the house
Tips for Safer Gambling
- Always set a gambling limit and never sway from your limit
- Also make sure that you always set a session time limit when gambling at online casinos and occasionally take a five minute break
- NEVER borrow money from ANYONE just so that you can gamble
- Try to gamble with money that you can afford to gamble with and never spend money that would otherwise have been spent on the bills or your shopping etc.
- Try to balance gambling with other activities, and never allow gambling to become a central figure in your life
- Never chase your losses, you will only ever lose
- Try not to take drugs or gamble under the influence of alcohol, because your risk-assessment and inhibitions will become considerably lower
Online Gambling Advice
Online gambling operators that have obtained a license in reputable jurisdictions such as Alderney, Malta, Gibraltar, the United Kingdom, Isle of Man, Jersey and Guernsey, are obliged to provide a self-exclusion framework for players.
Although the actual self-exclusion process may vary somewhat from one casino to another, the steps that you need to take are almost identical.
Below are the steps you can take to self-exclude yourself from online casinos.
Get in touch with the casino via live chat, telephone or email via the ‘contact us’ page
Let them know that you feel as though you have a gambling problem and that you would prefer it if you could either temporarily or permanently exclude yourself from the casino and from any other brands that are connected with the same operator.
Let them know an exact time frame of how long you would like the self-exclusion period to last.
To avoid cancelling out the self-exclusion program that you put yourself through, try and avoid signing up to any other online casinos that are not linked to the same operator where you just excluded yourself from. All of your featured online casinos actively promote responsible gambling, so they should be glad to help you in this area.
Rather than completely self-excluding yourself from one or more online casino, you could just try implementing deposit limits and spending limits at the casino. You can select the amount of money and the specific amount of time, and once these limits have been set, you won’t be able to exceed them. For example, you could set a NZ$100 weekly deposit limit or a N$200 monthly deposit limit, and so on.
You could change these limits at a later date, but they don’t come in to effect straight away. You would have to wait for the initial period that you set to come to an end, before any new limits start, otherwise there would be no point setting them in the first place. All of these useful problem gambling tools and other control mechanisms are far more effective than anything that’s in place at traditional land-based casinos and other similar gambling venues.
How and Where to Get Help?
If you believe that you, a friend or family member has developed a gambling problem, the good news for New Zealander’s is that there is a decent support network in place. All around the country you can find useful problem gambling support centres that treat all sorts of addictions and other mental illnesses, plus you can also find numerous problem gambling websites that cater to problem gamblers in New Zealand. Don’t forget that you’re not alone, and there’s now more help available than ever before.
Below are some well-established resources for New Zealander’s facing problem gambling and seeking help.
There’s the Problem Gambling Foundation of New Zealand that can be reached by emailing https://www.pgf.nz/, or by calling, toll-free on 0800 664 262. PGF.nz has numerous walk-in clinics located in Auckland, Waikato, Bay of Plenty, Taranaki, Manawatu-Whanganui, Wellington, Canterbury and Otago. They also have a Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/PGFNZ/
You also have Gamblers Anonymous New Zealand – a 12 step recovery program that where you can meet with others in groups to discuss problem gambling. Local meetings in New Zealand can be found on this page http://www.gamblersanonymous.org/ga/addresses?page=2
Also keep an eye out for popular websites such as Gamcare https://www.gamcare.org.uk/, GambleAware https://about.gambleaware.org, and Gambling Helpline New Zealand https://www.gamblinghelpline.co.nz (call free any time on 0800 654 655, night or day, or you can text them on 8006)
You can also find out more information about problem gambling in New Zealand right here https://www.dia.govt.nz